A Face in the Crowd

When radio producer Neal discovers the homespun philosophy and musical talents of Griffith's Lonesome Rhodes in an Arkansas jail, she little knows that the hobo she's about to launch on a massively successful television career is going to turn into a monstrous national demagogue, not only cherished by his public but listened to by politicians. In the opening scenes of Kazan and writer Budd Schulberg's satire on the dangers of television and advertising, Griffith's virtuoso, likeably irreverent performance makes for genuinely amusing viewing; but once he's mixing with the bigwigs, the film-makers' political messages start flying thick and fast, and the drama soon becomes overheated and unconvincing. Nor is it politically sophisticated: as in late-'30s Capracorn, the ordinary 'little people' are presented as being so gullible that what starts out as a seemingly liberal tract rapidly becomes a smug, cynical exercise in misanthropy.

Release details

Duration: 126 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Elia Kazan
Screenwriter: Budd Schulberg
Cast: Andy Griffith
Patricia Neal
Anthony Franciosa
Lee Remick
Walter Matthau
Kay Medford
Burl Ives
Rip Torn
LiveReviews|6
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Robert

A terrible review of a really fine film -- one that is neither satire nor comedy, but a terrifying portrait a demagog who uses and is used. It is as photo-realistic a portrait of a American political sociopath and his gullible public as can be presented in a film, short of leaving the audience suicidal at its end.

Robert

A terrible review of a really fine film -- one that is neither satire nor comedy, but a terrifying portrait a demagog who uses and is used. It is as photo-realistic a portrait of a American political sociopath and his gullible public as can be presented in a film, short of leaving the audience suicidal at its end.

John

A very entertaining movie and appropriate commentary about the dangers of power. Hollywood always tries to make liberal commentary out of anything; one does best to ignore this.

John

A very entertaining movie and appropriate commentary about the dangers of power. Hollywood always tries to make liberal commentary out of anything; one does best to ignore this.